November 9, 2022 508 PM
SAN ANTONIO — Local landscape painter Mary Baxter will open her fifth solo show at the Hunt Gallery in San Antonio titled New Work, Moments in the Deserts this week on November 10, with an opening reception taking place from 6 to 8 p.m.
The show will run until November 30 and include an artist’s talk on November 26. The series of new paintings depict scenes from various locations in the Chihuahuan Desert from Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park to the Guadalupe Mountains, area ranches and some New Mexico landscapes. Baxter has an affinity for ranchland and cattle and has been living and painting landscapes in the Marfa area for 27 years.
“I am very excited about this show because these paintings are from several different places in the Chihuahuan Desert, in addition to the Big Bend region. Sometimes I forget how big this desert really is,” said Baxter. “Two wonderful activities for me are painting and spending time outside in the desert. I feel very fortunate that I get to do this for a living.”
Born in Lubbock, Texas, and raised in San Antonio, Baxter attended the University of Texas at San Antonio where she studied painting and advanced printmaking. In 1995 she moved to a ranch southwest of Marfa to help raise stocker-yearlings and train horses. There she reconnected with the West Texas landscape, which she visited as a child, and began to interpret the rugged beauty of the desert in her paintings.
“I have found that the slower I go, the more I see. I discover a lot more while walking than while driving. Sometimes I just hike, trying not to have an agenda in mind, and then I’m often presented with an obvious scene to paint,” said Baxter. “I equate it to a fishing trip in that sometimes I come home with not a lot; other times the paintings are practically jumping into my boat, so to speak.”
While her main studio and gallery is located in Marfa, Baxter uses a vintage Silver Streak trailer to work in more isolated locations, where her smaller paintings are done “en plein air,” and the ideas and sketches are gathered for large paintings that will be finished in the studio.